At this year's annual Robin Hood conference, which was held virtually, the founder of the world's largest hedge fund, Ray Dalio, talked about asset bubbles and how investors could detect as well as deal with bubbles in the marketplace. Q1 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Dalio believes that by studying past market cycles Read More
- US: Dow Futures: 12510.00 (0.35%), S&P 500 Futures: 1321.50 (0.44%), NASDAQ Futures: 2551.75 (0.44%)
- Europe: CAC: 3036.50 (1.10%), DAX: 6323.91 (0.60%), FTSE: 5338.38 (1.35%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4055.80 (-0.28%), China: 2350.97 (-0.53%), Hong Kong: 18666.40 (-0.64%), India: 4921.47 (1.77%), Japan: 8563.38 (0.08%).
- Metals: Gold: 1571.50 (1.49%), Silver: 28.36 (3.04%), Copper: 3.44 (1.27%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 91.05 (1.28%), Natural Gas: 2.79 (-0.36%)
- Commodities: Corn: 6.05 (0.58%), Soya Bean: 12.73 (-1.72%), Wheat: 6.74 (-2.66%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2599 (0.12%), GBP/USD: 1.5714 (0.14%), USD/JPY: 79.4700 (-0.01%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.765% (0.031)
Financial and Economic News Update
U.S. stock-index futures trading higher: U.S. stock index futures are pointing to a higher open on Thursday after weekly jobless claims fell by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 370,000. The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ futures are all trading close to half a percent higher.
European markets in the green: European markets climbed on Thursday, with the German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) trading 0.6 percent higher at 6323.91, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) up 1.4 percent at 5338.38, and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) jumped 1.1 percent higher to 3036.50. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was trading 1.3 percent higher.
Asian markets end mixed: Asian markets closed mixed on Thursday with Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) gaining 0.1 percent to 8,563.38. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) closed down 0.64 percent at 18,666.4, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) finished lower 0.5 percent at 2,351 points. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index closed down 0.28 percent at 4,055.8. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index was the best performer in the region, ending up 1.7 percent.
Company News Update
- General Mills, Inc. (NYSE: GIS) will acquire privately-held Brazilian food company Yoki Alimentos S.A.
- H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ) said fourth quarter net income slipped 22 percent to $175.34 million or 54 cents per share from $223.86 million or 69 cents per share last year. Sales grew 5.6 percent to $3.05 billion from $2.89 billion a year earlier.
- High-end jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF) reported fiscal first quarter net income of $81.5 million or 64 cents a share that missed estimates, and lowered its fiscal year sales and profit forecasts.
- Costco Wholesale Corporation (NYSE:COST), the largest U.S. warehouse-club chain, posted third quarter profit excluding some items of 89 cents a share that topped analysts’ estimates as sales increased in both the U.S. and international regions.
- Patrick Spence, head of global sales at Research In Motion Limited (USA) (NASDAQ:RIMM) has resigned, in what is widely seen as a major blow to the struggling maker of BlackBerry smartphones.
- Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) said it plans to appeal against a decision by Europe’s second-highest court that threw out its legal challenge to a European Union ban on its cross-border interchange fees.
- Synopsys, Inc. (NASDAQ:SNPS), the maker of computer chip design software, posted earnings that trailed estimates, but revenue beat forecasts, as it raised its outlook for the full year.
- Apparel maker PVH Corp (NYSE:PVH) reported first quarter profit excluding certain items of $1.30 a share, four cents above estimates, driven by robust demand for Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger apparel. The New York-based company also raised its profit outlook for the year.
- Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS), McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) and BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK) will hold their shareholder meetings today.
- German pharmaceutical company Bayer AG (FRA:BAYN) said that an advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration voted against expanded use of anti clotting drug Xarelto to prevent heart attacks and strokes in patients with a common heart ailment. Bayer AG developed the drug in partnership with Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ).
- Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (FRA:BMW) was fined 156 million Swiss francs ($163.44 million) by the Swiss Competition Commission for trying to block Swiss residents from buying its cars outside the country.
- British telecoms group Cable and Wireless Communications Plc (LON:CWC) posted earnings that beat estimates, but said it would halve its dividend this year due to economic uncertainty in its markets.
- Hong Kong-listed Italian luxury goods retailer Prada S.p.A. (HKG:1913) is planning to roll-out 260 stores in the next three years to cater to growing demand from emerging markets like China, Brazil and the Arabian Gulf countries.
- British baby products and maternity retailer Mothercare plc (LON:MTC) reported a 2.4 percent increase in full-year sales to 812.7 million pounds ($1.3 billion), and said international sales jumped 18 percent. The stock was raised to “buy” from “hold” at Numis Corp. with a price estimate of 250 pence.
- Commerzbank AG (FRA:CBK) raised its recommendation on two of Germany’s biggest utilities today. E.ON AG (FRA:EOAN) was boosted to “buy” from “hold”, while RWE AG (FRA:RWE) was upgraded to “hold” from “sell”. E.ON AG was trading 2.5 percent higher, while RWE AG jumped 2.1 percent.
· Rio Tinto plc (ADR) (NYSE:RIO), the world’s second biggest producer of iron ore, is going ahead with its plan to substantially increase production of the steel-making ingredient over the coming years, and said there is little evidence of a slowdown in demand from top consumer China.
· Aviva Plc (ADR) (NYSE:AV), UK’s second-biggest insurer by market value plans to sell-off its underperforming South Korean and Sri Lankan businesses, in a deal that could fetch around $150 million.
· Chinese Internet giant Alibaba.com Limited (HKG:1688) is in talks with sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation, to sell a stake of up to $2 billion that should help the e-commerce company complete its funding for the Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) purchase, Reuters reported.
· Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (FRA:BMW), the world’s largest maker of luxury vehicles, plans to quadruple production capacity in China, and said sales in the world’s second biggest economy is set to grow at a double-digit rate this year.
· Japanese general contractor Hazama Corp (TYO:1719) announced its merger with Tokyo-based Ando Corporation (TYO:1816), a contractor specializing in building construction, through a share swap, with each Ando share to be worth 0.53 Hazama share.
· Sharp Corporation (TYO:6753), Japan’s largest maker of liquid-crystal displays, in talks with Taipei-based Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. (TPE:2317) to provide technological know-how for a new LCD factory in Chengdu, China, the Nikkei newspaper reported. The news comes on the day when Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) formally pulled out of its LCD TV panel joint venture with Sharp.
Economic Calendar for Thursday, May 24, 2012:
08:30 A.M. ET: Durable Goods Orders (April)
08:30 A.M. ET: Durable Goods Orders ex Transportation (April)
08:30 A.M. ET: Initial Jobless Claims (Week ending Saturday, May 19, 2012)
08:30 A.M. ET: Continuing Jobless Claims (Week ending Saturday, May 12, 2012)
09:00 A.M. ET: Purchasing Manager Index Manufacturing (May)
09:45 A.M. ET: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index (Week ending Sun, May 19)
10:30 A.M. ET: EIA Natural Gas Report (Week ending Friday, May 18, 2012)
11:00 A.M. ET: Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index (May)
01:00 P.M. ET: New York Federal Reserve Bank Pres. William Dudley speaks.
04:30 P.M. ET: Fed Balance Sheet
04:30 P.M. ET: Money Supply